Already well-known behind-the-scenes, Rick Rubin is experiencing a resurgence in mainstream media thanks in part to his work on Yeezus and starring in Jay-Z’s Samsung commercial as “Old White Guy With Beard.”
The legendary producer sat down with The Daily Beast for an extensive interview and among things discussed was his work on Kanye’s Yeezus. As you may have read, Ye called Rick at the last minute to add some finishing touches to the album.
What did the album sound like at that point?
Kind of meandering, unfocused, usually without his vocals. I assumed that the album was scheduled to come out next year. So I said, “When are you thinking of finishing up?” And he said, “It’s coming out in five weeks.” Like completely confident and fine.
He wasn’t stressed.
Not at all. I said, “I have a record coming out in November that’s a lot further along than this.” He said, “Really? What are you doing for the next five days?” I said I was going to go away. Then he said, “Please help me. Would you be open to fixing it and shaping it and finishing it off?
As a result of Rick’s assistance, there may be a sequel to the rapper’s recently released album.
When he came to you with the record, did you have a sense of what needed to be done?
Initially, he thought there were going to be 16 songs on the album. But that first day, before he even asked me to work on it, I said, “Maybe you should make it more concise. Maybe this is two albums. Maybe this is just the first half.” That was one of the first breakthroughs. Kanye was like, “That’s what I came here today to hear! It could be 10 songs!”
So there might be another Yeezus in the pipeline?
And with just two words, the anticipation for Yeezus II: The Resurrection begins. Okay, it’s probably not going to be called that but how incredibly dope and Kanye would it be if it were? Majorly.